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The Clary Collection

Two creative talents combine energies to launch Clary Collection, a line of all-natural beauty products.

Written By:  Sarah Rowland

Photographers:  Emily Hall Dorio

Adriel Denae, a musical artist, and Jen Auerbach, wife of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, are quick to confess that the Clary Collection blossomed out of a beautiful friendship.

“I met Adriel when she turned up very pregnant to my house to play poker. I hadn’t been in Nashville long and knew I’d just met my first best friend,” Auerbach says.

The two bonded over a connection they found in becoming new mothers, a transition that sparked many changes in both women. “I’d been feeling a bit adrift in my first pregnancy and wanted to move away from constant traveling and more toward a need for deeper roots. Our friendship was an anchor that I really needed, and it was so easy to dream together,” Denae adds.

Together, the two women started recognizing a deeper awareness of their need for clean food, products, and environments. With curiosity and dedication, the pair set out to create their own alternatives to the harmful products on the market.

“Initially we wanted to make products for our own families, given the amount of chemicals found in today's skincare world. Adriel's son, Rhodes, was suffering from sensitive skin and bouts of eczema, and I’m allergic to lipstick,” Auerbach says. “We started out with the all-purpose Clary Balm, and this led us to thinking about what other products were missing in our daily routines. The demand for our products created a business.”

With a focus on native plants and herbs, the two started blending herbal and floral distillations and cold-pressed oil infusions. They learned how to transform oils into healing, protective salves that could be used as solutions for chronic dryness, eczema, irritation, allergic reaction, and much more. The new mothers quickly saw how their own skin began to heal and stay healthier with the use of their solutions and balms.

Today, the Clary Collection can be found in shops all over the U.S., including multiple Nashville locations. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have been supported by so many friends and retailers in Nashville,” Auerbach says. They tout the city’s tremendous energy, which makes it an exciting place to try new things and explore interesting ideas.

“The energy isn’t a mystery—it’s generated and sustained by many individuals who are being intentional about supporting and challenging each other,” Denae says. “From the first days experimenting in our kitchens, we’ve been cheered on by friends, neighbors, and other business owners. That’s a critical and important part of our story.”

The journey they started together, rooted in motherhood, is something they both hope to enjoy for a long time to come. “The incredible amount of energy it takes to grow, birth, and care for a tiny human is exceptional. While it’s rewarding, and love is expanding deeply in and around you, it can also feel quite isolating and lonely,” Denae says. “I think it’s easy to become so absorbed in the responsibility of motherhood that you lose touch with certain parts of yourself and your ambition to create other things. But, as Clary grows, we hope we can empower more moms to express their unique creativity and lead the charge to care for the planet and each other.”

Look for Clary Collection at Two Son, White’s Mercantile, and Arcade.

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